Serious Head-On Collision Leads to Four-Year Prison Term

Drug-Driving Charlie Bedworth Found with High Levels of Cocaine

Charlie Bedworth, 37
Photo - Sussex Police

A drug driver caused serious injuries after he swerved and collided head-on with another vehicle near Chichester.

Charlie Bedworth, 37, failed to see a vehicle ahead of him indicating to turn right off the Selsey Road B2145 near Hunston. In an attempt to evade a collision, he drove into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

At the roadside, Bedworth provided a positive DrugWipe test for cocaine. The victim, a 53-year-old local man from Selsey, was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries and continues to require ongoing treatment and rehabilitation nearly a year after the crash.

“Drug-driving and being distracted behind the wheel are two of the main factors in why people are killed or seriously injured on our roads,” stated an official.

At Portsmouth Crown Court on May 10, Bedworth, unemployed and from Justin Close, Brentford, admitted to causing serious injury by dangerous driving and drug-driving. He was sentenced to four years in prison and disqualified from driving for five years.

The court heard that the incident occurred at approximately 7.40 am on June 10 last year. A motorist in a Range Rover ahead of Bedworth had indicated to make a right turn. Bedworth, driving at speed in an Audi Q5, failed to see the vehicle braking for the turn. At the last moment, he swerved into the path of an oncoming Kia Picanto.

Bedworth failed a roadside DrugWipe test which indicated cocaine in his body. His later blood test showed he had 296 micrograms (ug) of the chemical breakdown of cocaine, called benzoylecgonine, per litre of blood in his body. The legal limit for this chemical breakdown product is 50ug per litre of blood in the body.

Initially, Bedworth claimed he had not taken any drugs and speculated he may have had a drink spiked while dining at a restaurant. However, when asked how two independent tests could be wrong and if he had taken any drugs in the seven days prior to the collision, he refused to answer.

Investigating officer PC Tom Van Der Wee from the Roads Policing Unit said, “Bedworth’s driving was appalling and dangerous. Due to a distraction, he failed to see a vehicle slowing down, braking and indicating ahead of him, and reacted far too late. He swerved to avoid a collision with the vehicle ahead of him, but instead caused a devastating collision to the driver of the oncoming Kia. The case shows why we are determined to catch drug drivers before they cause similar harm to other innocent road users. Bedworth is incredibly lucky not to have caused the death or further serious harm to himself and others that day.

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